MardiGrass 2008


and welcome to the


Sixth Mission of the BigBongMobile

MardiGrass 2008


camera work by undatoka


2008 Preparations:

The BiG BonG Mobile was safely and uneventfully deployed with the help of a bright and shiny new flat bed truck, short story is that it's at the local service station to have a couple of tyres fixed and who knows, perhaps it might be possible to get her to start, poor old girl, as you can see from the images below, she has been rusting quietly in the parking sPOT next to H.Q waiting for the law to be changed and a Big BonG shaped museum to be built around her.  I wasn't going to bring the mobile in, indeed, I had come to consider the BBM as part of history, the 2005 mission "you tubed' above being the ideal time to retire, but, I failed to take into account the sheer number of people who wanted to see her one last time.....

I have often said that the way the Big Bong Mobile looks in real life can, if you look at it the right way, be a reasonably accurate barometer of the current state of Cannabis Law Reform and this has never been more apparent that at the moment, all looks good from a distance, but up close it's a whole other thing. The BBM was constructed in 2001 for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, we was going to BrisVegas to visit the Queen, to talk up the POTential of the relegalization of hemp in all of the 'colonies' in her Empire,  but alas, like in 1996, other events changed the political climate, pushing cannabis law reform back from being one of the most important issues on governments anywhere on earths agenda.... This has changed...


Kyoto, carbon fixing and the survival of our species is now becoming the overriding concern of every government on earth, for centuries if not millennia, the emphasis has been on acquiring living space, now, it's all about breathing space, anyway, this time around, this MardiGrass, we are closer than at any time in the past to real change in the law.

As you can see when you look even more closely, the BiG BonG Mobile is not planted with any illegal cannabis, this time around, it's perfectly legal random weeds.


Here's the BiG BonG Mobile on the truck...


And here's the BiG BonG Mobile.... waiting for its next deployment...

Thursday afternoon I wandered down to the service station..

Who is towing you? Asked Dave, service station owner and kombi guru.

I don't know yet. I replied, someone will be along shortly...

Less than 4 minutes and 20 seconds later ... who should appear ???

As it turned out, chance bought the best and most auspicious of random helpers, indeed, I can think of no better person to have helped move the BBM the last few meters to Peace Park than Captain and Aquarian Elder Graeme Dunstan. We parked the mobile where it wont be on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, it seems the mobile will be moving around Peace Park to suit the events to be staged at MARDIGRASS 2008....

And then, as expected, the BBM moved into a new sPOT and the party started....

And then the Bands began to play..................................................... on the stage below.

And then the HEMP OLYMPICS started, the BBM was the target for the Bong Throwing event and was frequently mentioned by the exquisitely hilarious commentators, Alan Glover and S Sorrensen.

I didn't spend a whole lot of time next to the BiG BonG Mobile bending peoples ears, far rather she sat there as a passive exhibit, as a 'thing' to see and photgraph. As you can see, the BBM was parked down near the childrens playground, sort of out on its own. The pic below is how the BBM looked at kid level....

So I DEFINITELY had another uniquely memorable MardiGrass, with the H*E*M*P*Bar closed by the police and the Big Bong Mobile parked peacefully in Peace Park being photographed by most everyone who walked past with a camera, I was able to spend a lot more time in a wider amount of venues than usual.

The highlight for me was coordinating the Saturday afternoon Global Marijuana March which coagulated around Cannabis Dave at 4.20 PM as he handed out hundreds of Joints containing various herbs out to a record crowd outside the closed H*E*M*P*Bar. This year there was a wireless microphone connected to the festival wide speaker system and no sooner had Dave reappeared from beneath a swarm of hands holding cameras and joints than the Kombi Konvoy clattered into town.

It was the 10th Global Marijuana March I have 'coagulated' and outside the H*E*M*P*Bar wasn't the only venue for the 420 Demonstration, H*E*M*P President Michael Balderstone did the 420 Demo in Peace Park, Captain Reefer did another in Allsop Park, the Stage down in the Markets did a 420 and pretty much everyone everywhere was part of the Demonstration and 4.20 PM on Saturday was about the only time that the main street of Nimbin had that traditional smoky look to it.....

I still had the microphone and on the spur of the moment Andy Putnam and I improvised the 'track side call' of the Kombi Konvoy... 65 things to say about 65 kombis in less than 15 minutes, its not an easy task, but I sure had fun in the attempt, I truly forget most of what I said, all's I know is that I wasn't wearing my BiG BonG hat when I did the call, instead, I spoke wearing the rather odd shaped hat of an ex formula vee association member who was once or twice the editor of the Volvo Sporting car club magazine,  and as one of the very few writers in Australia to have been reprinted several times in the Rolls Royce Owners Club magazine. (thanks aunty june) My car credentials extend beyond those of the writer, I have one of the very very very few distinguished careers to ever leave Parramatta Road, I used the vernacular and expressions gathered over more than a decade of trading in used cars both in Sydney and in Dallas Texas (of all places) and I tried to inject the kind of exuberance I feel every time I stand on the side of the road hitch hiking and I see a kombi coming, which I might add is the reason why Kombi 11 took out my award as the number one Kombi, I picked K11 because it was the only kombi in the whole konvoy that had picked me (up) in the past ( thanx Diane) Some of the things I might have said were, If you ever wondered how a Porshe REALLY goes around a corner, bolt a set of Mag wheels to a Beetle and take it out for a spin. There were 'saleproof yellow' kombi's mixed in with the other colours, the use of chrome eyebrows was pointed out as was the use of pin stripes and every time I saw a kombi wif extra driving lights... "This kombi is afraid of the dark" -  there was rusty ones full of bog and ones that looked like they only just made it to town, I am hoping to get access to a copy of the kombi konvoy video..

Sunday is Parade Day, Protest Day, Placard waving, slogan chanting day, the day to put on the BiG BonG HaT for it's 10th parade, take hold of my son journey with my left hand (his 6th parade) and one of the control strings of the new inflatable BiG Joint in my right hand (its first parade) and participate in a truly wonderful......

Stop Start... dance... march... sing... chant... laugh... stop... smile for the camera... start... chant... sing... dance... march... laugh... stop... smile for the camera... start... laugh... sing... dance... march... chant... skip... hop... stop... smile for the camera... dance... march... laugh... sing a long the main street of the most colourful town in Australia, if not the world.

To pause amid the colour and confusion, pause outside the HEMP Embassy, Museum and HEMP Bar, to stand right on the axle around which the MardiGrass revolves, in the no mans land of the drug war battlefield, to stand there for a several moments, shoulder to shoulder with all of ones comrades, to see the myriad people from all over earth surrounding us also ignited with the same passion to relegalize cannabis and save the planet.

And where did the BiG BonG Mobile End Up? What happened to it after the MardiGrass? Is it going to the crusher or is it to be restored?

Thank you for asking.

At about 4.20 Pm on Monday after the MG, when everything else had been cleared out of Peace Park, an unmarked white van appeared and mysteriously towed the BiG BonG Mobile out of Nimbin into a nearby inconspicuous open area. The BiG BonG Mobile was uncoupled from the white van, which then left. Several hours passed and no body went anywhere near it, the sun went down and still, no one approached the BiG BonG Mobile, the moon came up and faintly shone down on the faded paint of the BiG BonG Mobile, at approximately 4.20 AM Australian time the moon glow intensified until the faint outline of an Interstellar Transport Ship could be seen hovering over the BiG BonG Mobile, an energy beam of the greenest green spread over the BiG BonG Mobile and then atom by atom, the BiG BonG Mobile disappeared until just a few flakes of rust backed yellow paint and 4 squashed grass circles in a perfect rectangle remained.

till next